The GENERAL HOSPITAL family is mourning the loss of one of their own as Donna Messina died on Dec. 6. She was the head of the soap’s makeup and hair department, and beloved by everyone in the cast and crew. “Donna Messina joined the GH family on Aug. 26, 1982,” the soap’s current executive producer, Frank Valentini, reported on Twitter. “To say her presence will be missed is an understatement. She was an incredibly warm, witty and all-around great gal. Our thoughts go out to her loved ones.”
Messina joined the GH crew as a makeup artist back in the ‘80s and eventually grew to become head of the department. Over the decades of her daytime career, she and her makeup team received 12 Daytime Emmy Award nominations, taking home the trophy six times.
The stars of GH shared their memories of their dear friend on social media, and you can read all of their heartfelt messages in the special gallery below.
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Steve Burton Donna Messina
Steve Burton (Jason)
"We lost a beautiful soul last night. Way too soon! The one who held it all together. Was always there for everyone. A mom to everyone. Someone we can all count on. Donna Messina, I love you. Thank you . Rest In Peace."
Gh Laura Coat
Genie Francis (Laura)
"God bless sweet Donna Messina. A great friend and mother hen of us all. We went to her with our feelings, we could speak freely, and we knew we were safe. And when we needed it, she would give us a stern no bull talking to, to set us straight. There was no better friend. Godspeed."
Kristina Wagner Donna Messina
Kristina Wagner (Felicia)
"Donna Messina was my dear friend since the day I met her. Rest in peace."
Gh Jon Lindstrom
Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan)
“Life is often mystifying in this way. Donna Messina preceded my arrival to GH and I got there in 1992. She was a constant, loving presence in the makeup room, the first place we all start our day. It was just a few months ago that she disappeared to see to this unexpected challenge. I loved her, as we all did, for her support and kindness, her no-BS attitude and honesty. I miss her already. RIP.”
Maurice Benard Donna Messina Hug
Maurice Benard (Sonny)
“Sometimes you meet someone in life you just connect with and then, unfortunately, life just takes that person away. And no matter how much your heart breaks you want to remember the good times. My best friend, my sister, Donna, used to hate taking pictures. I used to have to grab her and hold her. And we would laugh and laugh. I will never forget this memory and I will never forget what you meant in my life.”
Finola Hughes (Anna)
“Some of you may know we lost an extraordinary part of our GH family two days ago. I would go so far as to say the very heart of our show, the glue if you will. She loved GH, she loved each of us, she was our fierce leader and our fiercest defender. There was never a moment or a doubt in our minds she would go to bat for any of us. This strong woman could only be disarmed by the mention of our babies. All she ever wanted was for us to have the happiness she had with her family. She was a mother to all, but the best mother to her three beautiful boys. They will grow to be extraordinary young men. I hope they know she had such an impact on our lives, too. When I met Donna back in ’84, she was a fledgling makeup artist and I was a green actor. She grew to be the key to our backstage and stepped into all our hearts. RIP, Donna. We love you.”
Maurice Benard Donna Messina
Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan)
“I’m not in this picture because Donna hated taking pictures, but to the left is Maurice Benard (Sonny) and to the right is Donna. Donna was my makeup artist for four years at GH but she wasn’t only that. She was my friend. Donna was my biggest supporter and helped me through some of the hardest days at work and with my personal life. Donna was one of the reasons I made one of the biggest moves in my career. You were always there for me and it breaks my heart receiving this news. I will always remember how you treated me and pushed me to follow my dreams. RIP, Donna. I will always remember you. Thank you.”
Sean Kanan (ex-AJ)
"I met Donna Messina in the early 90’s. From the beginning we shared an unlikely connection. She was always so kind and supportive. Truly saddened to hear that she passed. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones."
Gh Olivia Wedding
Lisa LoCicero (Olivia)
"It would be impossible to overstate what an influence Donna Messina had on what GH fans saw on their screens for decades... and hard to imagine our family without her She knew all secrets, and wasn’t above picking up your kid from school when you’re a mom stuck on set, freaking out."
Michelle Stafford Donna Messina
Michelle Stafford (Nina)
“The relationship between actor and makeup artist is a very special, unique one. It’s very close. Maybe because both of you are in such close proximity to each other all day. They are in your face most of the time. As a woman in Hollywood you really learn to trust your makeup artist. You love them. They take care of you. They always have your back. My first day on GH was a secret one. I was to film when Nina woke up and said, “Silas.” I arrived at 8 p.m. and was rushed (through the back stairs) into Frank’s office. I walked in and there was standing a beaming Donna Messina. She was the only one in the room. She was so happy I was on the show, she was almost giddy! She was in on the secret… she was in on almost every secret and she could keep a secret.
She had such respect for actors. She was completely honest. She would tell me when the guy I was dating was an a-hole or too young for me or didn’t treat me right (and she was right on all accounts). She was very perceptive. She could see the BS-ers from the real folks. Every day she would start by saying, ‘How are those delicious children of yours?” She would hear me complain of how they sleep in my bed and how they lose their mind in public and she would smile and say, “I would give anything for that. Trust me when they are grown and gone, you will beg for these days.” It resonated. Everything she said resonated with me.
I am not a big fan about posting when someone passes because there is already so much sadness in the world. But posting about Donna is different for me. I am hoping that maybe someone who is close with her boys might read this to them so they know how special she was to us. Her boys were the light of her life. They were everything to her. I knew all about them but never met them. She was a fantastic mother. I learned from her. I listened. Please don’t be sorry for my loss. Please be happy for my gain in knowing this exquisite woman of such strength. I’m the lucky one. Last night after I heard of her passing I had a very strong impulse to get my kids and bring them into my bed and snuggle, all three of us… I’m thinking Donna maybe had something to do with that. I love you. God speed.”
Gh Nikolas 2
Tyler Christopher (Nikolas)
“Damn. Seems like just yesterday I was sitting in Donna Messina’s chair. What a kind woman whom I could always share a good laugh with early in the morning before work. You were such an intricate part of the GH machine. You will be missed, Donna.”
Wally Kurth Donna Messina
Wally Kurth (Ned)
"Our dear Donna Messina. We will miss you so much. I always loved sitting in your makeup chair, getting the low down, hearing the latest studio gossip. You were the heart and soul of the GH hair/makeup room. Heartbreaking. RIP."
Sebastian Roche (ex-Jerry)
“So sad to hear Donna is gone. She was kind, generous, so funny and so supportive. We’re going to miss such a vibrant personality. RIP, Donna, and thank you…”
Maurice Benard Donna Messina
Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda)
“My life, my health, my childhood, and my entire heart are because of these two. I love you, Donna. Keep laughing.”